Should marriage define you?


It’s no secret that I have recently started a new job. With a new job comes a new circle of friends and acquaintances. In my line of work, my classroom team is something that needs to be established almost immediately. We will experience some of the best and worst moments together, so it is only natural to get to know these people to the fullest extent possible.

One thing that has been driving me [kind-of] crazy these last few weeks are these simple conversations that have all started the exact same way, and go something a little like this:

Co-worker: “How old are you?”

Me: “24.’

Co-worker: “Oh, are you married?!”

Me: “No.”

Co-worker: “Oh….why?”

Most girls would be lying if they said they didn’t plan their dream wedding at the tender age of 5. I am just as guilty of this as the next person. Heck, I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to wedding ideas. Again, who doesn’t?

Back when I was in high school, actually maybe as young as middle school, I had this dream of being married and having my first kid by age 25. Well, here I am at 24 and neither of these things are happening. But am I devastated? Absolutely not.

I am at that age now that I would basically consider awkward. Half of my friends are either engaged, getting married, are married, are announcing a pregnancy, or have kids… while the other half are still out bar-crawling until 4am eating chicken nuggets in the McDonalds drive thru. The catch? While my friends and I are in these totally polar opposite points of their life, we are all equally happy.

I am currently in a long-term relationship with a guy I would consider to be the man of my dreams. Being in this relationship has made me [further] realize how poorly I was treated in my past. I am with someone who loves me, flaws and all. Who tells me every day how proud he is of me, how he knows how hard I work, and how I deserve the world. We love hard and we fight for each other harder. Am I happy? Yes. Am I married? No.

We will get married one day, but not one day soon. Do I care? Not at all. But why is this not good enough? Why  is it that when I say no that I am not married that the immediate response is negative? There are days that I basically feel as if I am already married. We already do everything together, things that my married friends do, so essentially what would a piece of paper change?

There are so many other [amazing] qualities that I, as well as every woman [or man] should be defined by. We shouldn’t be defined based on our relationship status. We should be defined by our qualifications – our hard work, our ethics and values, our personalities. We don’t need to depend on others to be remarkable people – we are capable of conquering the world all on our own.

I don’t know everything and I never will. But if there is one thing I do know, it is that I am happier now than I have ever been and, to me, that should be good enough. xoxo.